On April 27, at 11:18 a.m., the School Resource Officer and administrators at Gale Bailey Elementary School began investigating a potential threat after they were notified that a student displayed firearms during a video chat and stated that they were going to shoot up the school.
According to the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, a home visit was conducted, and the firearms were determined to be BB guns. The student, whose name was not released due to their age, will not face criminal charges under Maryland law. However, the school resource officer did notify the Charles County Department of Juvenile Services to provide services as needed.
The student will face disciplinary consequences from the Charles County Public Schools. It is unclear what specific consequences the student will face.
The Charles County Sheriff’s Office is urging anyone with information about this case to call Cpl. Cook at 301-609-3282 ext. 0479. The investigation is ongoing, and authorities have not disclosed whether they believe the student was planning an actual attack or if it was a statement made in jest.
The incident is the latest in a string of threats and acts of violence at schools across the country. According to the Educator’s School Safety Network, there were 591 incidents of school violence in the United States in 2020, despite many schools being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Schools have implemented a range of safety measures in recent years, including active shooter drills, metal detectors, and increased police presence on campuses. However, critics of these measures argue that they create a culture of fear and can traumatize students.
Regardless of the approach schools take, incidents like the one at Gale Bailey Elementary School are a sobering reminder of the need for continued vigilance and collaboration between law enforcement, school administrators, and community members to ensure the safety and well-being of students.
As the investigation into this incident continues, parents, students, and educators alike are no doubt hoping for swift and effective action to address any potential threats and prevent future incidents from occurring.